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The Brain Injury Social Work Group (BISWG) is disappointed to hear that the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) has been further delayed by the UK Government, and BISWG supports the British Association of Social Workers’ response to this decision.

For people with an acquired brain injury (ABI), their families and the staff that support them, difficulties with the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and the associated Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were very clearly identified in the House of Lords review of the MCA which was published 9 years ago.

Despite their Lordships very clear report, that sought evidence from across England and Wales, individuals with an ABI continue to be placed at risk of MCA assessments, Best Interests and DoLS decisions that are not informed by professional staff who are knowledgeable about the condition and how it affects functioning. There is increasing academic evidence of the harms caused by a system that fails to take account of post ABI difficulties and how these manifest in assessments versus in real world settings.

The further delay to the implementation of the LPS is not supportive of improvements to the application of the MCA for people with a brain injury. It is therefore imperative that due consideration is given to this decision and the consequences, with a view to possible revision, as further delay might not only adversely impact practice but also service provision for people affected by ABI.

Further delay in the implementation of LPS’s will continue to adversely affect people with ABI and their families.